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Are We Living through the End of Days?

blogging about end of days

All day today, I’ve been witness to devastation. The super cyclone that tore through parts of India uprooting massive trees, breaking down homes and shops for a population already reeling under Covid lockdowns has left so many of my friends without electricity or connectivity. Thousands upon thousands of the poorest tribals, village dwellers, fishermen have lost their homes and livelihood.

India also has a surging pandemic. Forest fires. Locusts. What’s next, 2020? Zombies? Aliens?

Whoever is writing the script for 2020 needs to be handed his or her papers, stat. We’ve always had one thing or the other, but not everything and it’s second cousin’s grandma all piled together. Blogging about it makes me ill, and that’s just the trauma of witnessing suffering. Not able to imagine those who are really going through it–walking hundreds of miles baking under the hot sun, or watching years of their labour carried away by a cyclone..

In far-away Singapore, in my cosy den, I’m at my laptop trying to send out social media posts, doing calls across Mumbai, Chicago, Kolkata, London, and other cities in between to find help. I’m part of a group of strangers, blogging and writing folk, non-profits and tech-wizards and marketing gurus, who have come together for the sake of humanity.

In all the misery, I’ve seen scattered acts of kindness. Students mobilising to feed the labourers who have been rendered migrants in their own countries. Men and women rushing from the cities to the forests of Sunderban to offer help to villagers whose homes have literally been blown away in the wind. Housewives are looking through their cupboards for clothes and other items to donate.

I’m trying to work (unsuccessfully) on my WIP, and of course, like all of us in these crazy times, just survive this surreal nightmare. Blogging seems to have taken a back seat.

It is past midnight and absolutely pouring outside. Rains like this are not frequent at this time of the year in Singapore, but oh well. It is certainly not the strangest thing to happen in 2020.

Facebook brought me a memory, a post from earlier times.

Frail elderly couple arrived at the table next to mine at the food court.

She sank into the seat while he left to get food. Minutes later, he arrived, carrying with shaky hands a piled plate, two cups of tea in a tray, plonked it down, spilling the tea a little. She gave him a smile, like he’d come home from war.

Midway into eating he sneezed, and she dug out a tissue from her handbag and wiped his hand.

Throughout, they kept pushing the pieces of meat at each other with chopsticks. The pile of food disappeared over a few minutes, then they sat drinking tea, sighing, the gentleman peering into my laptop, pretending not to. He reported to her he couldn’t understand a word of what I wrote. He probably thought my headphones meant I couldn’t hear him. 

They left, holding hands, helping each other out, walking out the food court on unsteady feet. I don’t know if we understand the true meaning of love or companionship until we age.

Snippets of another time, another life when we didn’t wear masks unless we were doctors at surgery, when the elderly could roam about in crowds without fear.

How about you? How are things like where you are? Have you been blogging lately? Do you sometimes wonder whether we might be approaching the end of days?

Are you part of nay online or offline book groups? Founded any? What is the experience like? Do you think online book groups are similar to those offline?My debut literary crime novel,”You Beneath Your Skin,” published by the fab team at Simon and Schuster IN is available in India here.

Worldwide, here.

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • thanks for this….i wanted to share a post i did just around the time the pandemic began…hope it helps someone needing to hear a word of encouragement……please watch and share a comment.

  • Vinitha says:

    Things are going on with not much change almost a month later. I loved reading that slice from another time of your life, Damyanti. Looking back, we had fewer problems and worries. We just didn’t know that then. Life has a weird sense of humor. Stay safe, Damyanti!

  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing!!.. change is in the winds culture wise, environment, climate, etc and how we deal with change will determine whether we will continue on or we go the way of the dinosaur and the end of days…. “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” (William Arthur Ward)… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May flowers always line your path
    and sunshine light your way,
    May songbirds serenade your
    every step along the way,
    May a rainbow run beside you
    in a sky that’s always blue,
    And may happiness fill your heart
    each day your whole life through.
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    And may all the wishes you wish come true
    (Irish Saying)

  • Natasha says:

    D, it’s not the end of the days yet, but difficult times. If we make it, we will, else not. The best we can do now is to do our bit to help heal the planet. Every drop counts.

    And we must hold on to our dear ones, real tight. One of the many lessons these unpredictable times have also taught us. I guess there are many lessons to learn, many lives to be healed, and the journey is meant for a larger purpose which none of us are aware of at this point of time.

    I think of you often and hold you in my heart with loving thoughts.
    Take care of yourself, and make the most of this time and do the best that you can. (I bet you already are!)

    Be well. <3

  • Natesh says:

    Beautiful post. Hope this changes the mindsets of people and motivates them to help the poor who are in need. I wrote something similar. If you are interested, please check it out.

  • Hey Damyanti! I love your blog posts as they are very fascinating and informative but I’d love it if you checked my blog posts out too. Advice from you would also be helpful. If you are checking my blog posts out and if you like them, please virtually👍( like them ) too!!

  • Oh yes, I am finding it very hard to keep up with blogging these days, and my dreams of finishing a manuscript went completely out of the window about a week into lockdown! My children are bored and restless, I cannot entertain them by myself. We need school, we need to visit the play park, we need to see our friends. I miss having lunch in cafes, browsing in the shops, and I miss my mum. I haven’t seen her for two months. I am ready to resume my life now.

  • G. J. Jolly says:

    Damyanti, this year is definitely a strange one but I truly doubt it’s the end days. Life will eventually turn around again. I just hope we’ve learned how to be more appreciative of the good in life.

  • I think you’re right, Damyanti. Zombies are next. Things are so unbelievable that daily life feels surreal, and in some parts of the world the suffering is overwhelming. Creativity and any sense of normalcy is shot, even for those of us who are doing okay. How can anyone with functioning empathy not be knocked off our feet. I keep telling myself that this too will end, and I hope hope hope we learn something from it and create a better world at the other side. I’m not sure humankind is capable of it, but I hope so. <3 Keep your spirits up and be well.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I see, hear and read about the horrors of this world and like you wonder where we’re at – and would like to help more but am unable to. I don’t publicly write about things … I’m keeping out of harm’s way and thus keeping others safe too … I’m busy with other things and I do write up my blog – but then it’s history or similar. I’m at peace being under the radar … so no-one worries about me – seems to be the main thing I can do. I’ve lots to do fortunately – catching up with life – which will allow me to do things I might not have got to, til a few more years have gone by. I hope we can get a vaccine very soon for it – and it doesn’t bring the world down beyond its knees. It is not at all easy for a great many people – our leaders need to be fair and lead … you take care – and with thoughts – Hilary

  • Jemima Pett says:

    The Fall of the Roman Empire must have seemed much the same. I read a book a couple of years back about climate change and historical events, and it really did play a major part in plagues, disasters and civilisations reaching their end.
    It’s been twenty years since I did a postgrad degree in environmental pollution and climate change, and yes, we are living the predictions/forecasts/scenarios from that time. Generally, the worst forecasts. That helps me to roll through it a little, knowing that we tried to explain what was already inevitable. I support the new movements, but please don’t just assume everyone over forty was complicit in this mess!
    The last project I did was about adaptation and mitigation. We have to adapt to survive, and we have to mitigate the effects where we can’t prevent them. But millions will die because our leaders put economics before people, even after the Sterne Report (by a major figure in economics and political thought) showed that ‘business as usual’ would impoverish our countries. I have still to read the book he wrote in full, and I fear it’ll just be ‘if only’.
    I’ll join you in helping to support the people of India and Bangladesh, although I missed this news entirely.
    Keep safe, and look after your mental health.

  • JoAnna says:

    Maybe it is the end of days, maybe not. At the very least, this is a test. Not necessarily an intentional test, but an opportunity for us to live through these enormous challenges and come out better, wiser, and more grateful than we were. I don’t know if that will happen for us as a species, but it can happen for each of us as individuals. I have come to believe in self-fulling prophecies, aka, manifesting, aka, speaking things into existence, so I’m trying to imagine a better world while keeping an eye on the news and taking breaks when it becomes too toxic. Thank you for the work you are doing to help others and for the beautiful love story in the food court. Take care of you, too.

  • Jeff Japp says:

    Stay safe.

  • Pam Lazos says:

    I don’t think it’s the end of times, but the world coming back into balance, Damyanti. We humans have pushed it to the brink.
    Re: love and the elderly couple, you do really know how to capture a moment. xo

  • JT Twissel says:

    Mother Nature has the upper hand and seems clearly pissed at humanity. Unfortunately the people most responsible are not the one who have to suffer. Take care.🙏

  • For a long time I wrote very little about my spirituality at my blog. I might touch on the fact that I was raised Catholic and attend mass, but not get into it, really. Now, I’m not saying we’re living through End Times, but if these weird and for some very terrible times have taught me anything it’s that time is short. So, my blog has been getting a bit more spiritual these days. And I’m not saying I’m ready to go all #CatholicTwitter but I’m being more honest about who I am. Maybe we are all grieving, globally, through the coronavirus and the natural disasters, and being honest about it has to be a good start to the grieving process. I love your memory culled from the annals of FB–and I think you’re probably right about love (and a lot of things). Thanks for sharing yourself at your blog–it’s always thought-provoking to read!

  • Terrible times, indeed. That so many innocent people have perished is heartbreaking. I’m hoping this is the long-needed wake-up call for humanity to remember we are all in this together. If we want the planet to be healed from centuries of neglect, we must all act unselfishly and responsibly.

  • Indeed this is a dire and almost surreal time. Strange, unusual weather patterns, a local mass-murder (22 people shot) and the COVID-19 pandemic as well as increasing anti-Asian hate crimes leave me fearful of the way the future is going.
    On the other hand, I have a darling little grandson who is about to turn one year old this week, so I must remain positive for his sake…

  • Peter Nena says:

    Feels like End of Days. Devastation after devastation after devastation. Add bad governments to that and we have an apocalypse. The locusts are here as well. I have been wondering where they even came from. If they can be so many, where have they always been?

  • setinthepast says:

    It’s certainly been a strange year! Forest fires, floods, cyclones, locusts, and all this on top of the pandemic. Sometimes I still can’t believe that it’s actually happening. Stay safe. Let’s hope 2021 is better!

  • soniadogra says:

    Blogging has come to my rescue I would say. I don’t know whether it’s empathy or helplessness or feeling guilty about being in a position of privilege. I keep running away from it. Don’t mention it, don’t talk about it. I’ve found my respite in some measly contributions I’ve made and in writing about other things. Pretending to be the ostrich.
    That byte from last year was refreshing.

  • 2020 has indeed been challenging. Devastating even.
    We are alll in this together, but we are decidedly not in the same boat.
    My heart aches for so many. My cowardly self rations exposure to news, perhaps because I feel so helpless.
    And how I loved the charming vignette you finished this post on. I hope (fervently) that kindness and love still exist, and are still quietly celebrated.

  • Widdershins says:

    Perhaps it is the Beginning of Days … wherein we (humans) acknowledge the global mess we have created, and, accepting responsibility for the consequences of our actions, finally grow up into the species we could be.
    I don’t have a lot of hope, mind you, just a little bit.

  • Shilpa Gupte says:

    I agree. As you said, it definitely is end of days. What more is to come, I wonder. On seeing the destruction by the locusts attack last night on tv, I had this thought, that if the Guy sitting up there in heaven really wants us to be over and done with, why not finish everything off in one blow? It does sound so negative, but wouldn’t it be better that way than dying little by little everyday?

  • If it’s the end, I know where I’m going and pray a lot of people are also going there.
    The last time something came close to affecting the whole world was WWII. This pandemic might just start another massive war on so many fronts, we won’t be able to keep up with it. But I don’t let those thoughts overwhelm me. I can’t control the whole world.
    The best we can do now is pray.

  • Australia is just beginning the process of opening borders between Australian states but it will be some time before we are open to international travel either in or out. Our economy as well as the rest of the world has been severely impacted and foolish international politics is likely to eventually lead us all into a war no civilians of any country would welcome. Add to that the fact that our self-centered modern way of living has contributed to climate change, which along with war in various places has put millions into refugee status and misery. We as a human race have abdicated our right to live and nature will take it’s course. While I’m probably one of a small minority I believe there is a Higher Intelligence who will intervene to clean up this mess we’ve made of the world. Unless I’m mistaken in my reading of the various major religious holy writings Hindus, Moslems and Christians believe in the end of an age and it certainly looks like we are headed in that direction Damyanti. There has to be a better place for us to eventually end up in if we’ve cultivated a nobility of living practices here in spite of the mess around us. So I’m positive of a bright future available somewhere else if we want to live in a place with a higher standard of morality. 🙂

  • Have you tried contacting camping and hiking equipment manufacturers for donations? Surely some of them would be able to provide water treatment products (filters, tablets, etc) and other supplies for the displaced.

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